The Spanish government is set to declare astate of emergency for the Madrid region, as Europe’s leaders step up efforts to contain an unrelenting surge in coronavirus cases across the continent. Switzerland added German and Italian regions to its quarantine list.
The U.K. will announce a newjob support plan, which is likely to include paying two-thirds of the wages of workers in companies affected by lockdown measures. England’s rate of infections almost doubled in one week.
India continued on a trajectory to overtake the U.S. as the country with the most cases, as infections neared 7 million. More than 2.75 million migrants have been stranded due to restrictions on mobility. Microsoft is allowing its employees to work from home permanently, a report said.
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Microsoft to Allow Permanent Work From Home: Verge (8:06 a.m.)
Microsoft is allowing its employees to work from home permanently, The Verge reports, citing Microsoft’s internal guidance plans. The company plans to let employees work from home freely for less than 50% of their working week or for managers to approve permanent remote work.
Switzerland Adds German, Italian Regions to Quarantine List (7:55 a.m. NY)
Switzerland has added Berlin and Hamburg in Germany and three Italian regions including Veneto to its quarantine list as infections rise across the continent. People arriving in Switzerland from the listed countries will need to quarantine at home for ten days as of Oct. 12.
New cases in Switzerland have jumped to 1,487 on Friday, compared to some 500 cases at the beginning of the month.
England Virus Infections Doubled in One Week (7:53 a.m. NY)
The rate of coronavirus infection in Englandalmost doubled in the week through Oct. 1, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. The rate climbed to one person in 240 from one in 470 a week earlier, it estimated. The figures come as the U.K. government prepares to announce new restrictions for the worst-hit parts of the country from Monday, potentially including the closing of restaurants and bars.
SAGE Lays Out Framework for Best Vaccine Use (7:42 a.m. NY)
The global recommendations by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization are based on epidemiological scenarios, such as widespread community transmission, sporadic cases and those areas concerned about imported cases. Additionally, if a country can’t procure full doses to account for 10% of the population, SAGE recommends to give the highest priority to health-care staff and the elderly.
The age cut-off for who would be included in the highest-priority group is a decision each country will have to make individually based on its data, Kate O’Brien, head of the World Health Organization’s immunization department, said in a press briefing.
Iran’s Cases Fall 5.6% From a Record (6:59 a.m. NY)
Iran reported 4,142 new coronavirus cases overnight, down about 5.6% from the record number of infections the day before. The health ministry also recorded 210 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total tally to 492,378 cases and 28,098 fatalities.
Earlier Friday, the health ministry banned the hospitalization of non-emergency patients to address the high volume of coronavirus patient admissions, deputy minister Iraj Haririchi said, as worries mount over bed shortages.
Spain to Declare Madrid State of Emergency, La Sexta Says (6:30 a.m. NY)
The Spanish government is set to declare astate of emergency for the region of Madrid, ramping up its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the capital, La Sexta television reported Friday.
The decision comes as the government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez grapples with a new outbreak of the pandemic in Madrid amid a standoff with the regional administration over how to handle the crisis. The state of emergency gives Sanchez extraordinary powers to order restrictions on movement.
Oman to Reinstate a Curfew (6:28 a.m. NY)
Oman will reinstate a curfew starting Oct. 11 for two weeks to better contain the outbreak of the coronavirus. The sultanate has registered a spike in virus cases at the beginning of the month, reaching as high as 2,600 in a single day.
Romania, Russia and Czech Republic See Record Cases (3:40 p.m. HK)
Russia posted arecord number of new Covid-19 cases Friday as the government has resisted returning to a lockdown to battle the second wave of infections. There were 12,126 cases in the past day, breaking the previous record from May, according to data from the government’s National Virus Response Center. In Romania, the number of new infections was also at a record.
The Czech Republicreported reported a new high of 5,394 infections on Thursday. The country’s 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per capita is now the highest in the EU, followed by Spain, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
CanSino to Start Vaccine Trial in Latin America (5:31 p.m. HK)
Phase III trials of the coronavirus vaccine Cansino Biologics Inc. co-developed with the Chinese military is “scheduled to start very soon in Mexico, Chile and Argentina,” CanSino’s co-founder Qiu Dongxu said on a talk show broadcast on state-run TV Thursday.
Pandemic Strands 2.75 Million Migrants (5:30 p.m. HK)
More than 2.75 million migrants have been stranded due to restrictions on mobility imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the International Organization for Migration said. The report covered more than 100 countries and refers to people outside of their habitual residence.
U.K. Will Announce to Job Support Plan (3:24 p.m. HK)
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will announce a newjob support plan to help businesses forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions that are likely to be imposed within days. The plans are likely to include paying two-thirds of the wages of workers in companies affected by new rules, which could involve shutting bars and restaurants in coronavirus hot spots in England.
Europe’s Leaders Discuss New Curbs (2:48 p.m. HK)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel willspeak with mayors of the country’s biggest cities about efforts to contain a recent surge.
Merkel will discuss containment measures after cases exceeded 4,000 for the second day in a row — levels not seen since April. Berlin has now become a risk area, and the capital’s residents face travel restrictions within Germany, while Frankfurt is approaching that threshold.
Thailand in Talks With Russia, China Vaccine Developers (12:51 p.m. HK)
Thailand is intalks with several Chinese, Russian and U.K. vaccine developers to secure viable inoculations against the coronavirus as soon as they became available — a key element in the country’s effort to reopen its tourism-reliant economy.
The Southeast Asian nation also expects to reach agreements with the University of Oxford and Covax, a World Health Organization-backed initiative, by the end of October, according to Nakorn Premsri, director of Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute.
India Confirmed Cases Rise to Near 7 Million (12:04 p.m. HK)
India added 70,496 cases for a total of 6.91 million total as of Friday, according to government data, with Covid-19-related deaths increasing to 106,490. But in Mumbai’s biggest slum, the virus has largely beencontained.
Newcastle Students Test Positive: Telegraph (11:56 a.m. HK)
Newcastle University said 1,003 of its 28,000 students tested positive for Covid-19 this month and 12 staff members were also found to have the virus, the Telegraphreported, citing the university. The “overwhelming” majority of cases were from social and residential settings, a university spokeswoman told the newspaper.
China Joins WHO’s Global Coronavirus Vaccine Program (9:01 a.m. HK)
China joined the World Health Organization-backed Covax program, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Friday. The statement didn’t disclose how much money the nation will put into the effort that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations.
China’s participation may help repair the country’s image over how it handled the initial outbreak in Wuhan, particularly since the Trump administration has refused to join Covax.
— With assistance by Heather Burke
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